Thursday, August 17, 2017

Jimmy Kimmel: "I Would Feel More Comfortable If Cercei Lannister Was Running This Country At This Point"


Tuesday night, reported Maggie Haberman, Señor Trumpanzee was in a very good mood after his press conference. Her White House sources told her he felt liberated after doing what he wanted. The next morning, Heather Heyer was buried. Neither Trump nor Pence bothered to attend. Not one of the "very fine people?" Haberman also reported that Gary Cohn is said to be deeply upset by the events of the last few days and Trump's responses, "per multiple sources," but that he's not leaving administration-- not happy but not leaving. One twitter wag came up with this:

Jonathan Chait's account about the horror that gripped the non-Bannonites on White House staff when Trump unmasked himself in front of the media Tuesday is worth reading. These staffers, he wrote "have rarely registered their dismay as nakedly as they did Tuesday night, when he spontaneously altered a plan to deliver remarks on infrastructure without taking questions into a free-form defense of white supremacists. One official told NBC News that Trump had 'gone rogue.' Mike Allen reports that chief economic adviser Gary Cohn is 'between appalled and furious,' and that there is a danger one or more high-level officials could resign." Chief of staff John Kelly looked like someone kicked him in the stomach while Trump decided it was acceptable to call his Nazi supporters "fine people" and to equate them, morally, to anti-Nazis-- or even not as good as the Nazis because the Nazis had a permit and the counter-demonstrators didn't.
But it is important to understand the precise nature of their distress. It is emphatically not because they are shocked to learn their boss is a racist, a fact that has been established through numerous episodes, such as Trump’s insistence a Mexican-American judge was inherently biased against him, his call for a Muslim immigration ban, his slander of Ghazala Khan, and so on. They are angry that Trump revealed beliefs they wish to keep hidden. “Members of the president’s staff, stunned and disheartened, said they never expected to hear such a voluble articulation of opinions that the president had long expressed in private,” reports the New York Times.

This raises the question once again of why they are working for Trump at all. A legitimate public rationale can be made for serving the administration in certain roles. The federal government plays a vital role in domestic and global security, Trump is a dangerous and erratic figure, and somebody needs to try to steer him away from decisions that would provoke unalterable tragedy. That justification covers serving Trump as a foreign-policy adviser, or as homeland security and disaster-response officials.

But what what justification can the domestic and political advisers offer? Any benefit they can get by helping produce what they regard as better policies is surely offset by the cover they (and their policy successes, should they produce any) provide him.

Suppose yesterday’s remarks had gone off as planned. Suppose Trump had pushed his message of infrastructure. Suppose further every subsequent step also worked as planned-- Trump manages to build political support for the huge infrastructure build-out he campaigned upon, and created millions of jobs and the backdrops for several powerful reelection campaign ads. All they would have done is fulfill Steve Bannon’s dream of a worker’s party uniting economic populism with ethnonationalist grievance. “Shipyards, ironworks, get them all jacked up,” he told Michael Wolff after the election, “We’re just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution-- conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement.” ... Preventing Trump from doing something damaging is a legitimate and even noble calling. But that admirable motivation can easily mutate into rationalization. Are Trump aides really working to protect the country from him? Or are they working to keep the country from seeing his real nature?
Haberman and Glenn Thrush noted that never before had Trumpanzee gone as far in defending the actions of his Nazi and KKK supporters "as he did during a wild, street-corner shouting match of a news conference in the gilded lobby of Trump Tower, angrily asserting that so-called alt-left activists were just as responsible for the bloody confrontation as marchers brandishing swastikas, Confederate battle flags, anti-Semitic banners and 'Trump/Pence' signs... No word in the Trump lexicon is as tread-worn as 'unprecedented.' But members of the president’s staff, stunned and disheartened, said they never expected to hear such a voluble articulation of opinions that the president had long expressed in private. The National Economic Council chairman, Gary D. Cohn, and the Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, who are Jewish, stood by uncomfortably as the president exacerbated a controversy that has once again engulfed a White House in disarray."

Last Supper by Nancy Ohanian

And, sadly, as James Hohmann pointed at for Washington Post readers Wednesday morning, false moral equivalency isn't a bug of Trumpism; it's a feature. He wrote that it's "part of a pattern" for Trump to be unable to discern between Nazis and those who oppose Nazis. Just a few months ago Trump compared the U.S. intelligence community to Nazis, something he no doubt got by listening to Alex Jones, his bestie who claimed this week that there were no Nazis or KKK members in Charlottesville, just "Jewish actors" trying to make Trump, Pence and the Republican Party look bad. Trump's fulsome embrace of the gangsterism, thuggish Putin should have alerted everyone in America of that pattern long ago.
“The president’s rhetorical ricochet … seemed almost perfectly designed to highlight some basic truths about Donald Trump,” observes Marc Fisher, who co-authored The Post’s Trump Revealed biography last year. “He does not like to be told what to say. He will always find a way to pull the conversation back to himself. And he is preternaturally inclined to dance with the ones who brought him …Trump said Tuesday that Saturday’s confrontation ‘was a horrible day.’ And he made clear again that ‘the driver of the car’ that plowed into pedestrians in Charlottesville ‘is a disgrace to himself, his family and this country.’ But then the president turned to one of his favorite rhetorical tools, using casual language to strip away any definite blame, any clear moral stand, and instead send the message that nothing is certain, that everything is negotiable, that ethics are always situational. ‘You can call it terrorism,’ he said. ‘You can call it murder. You can call it whatever you want.’”

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At 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No he wouldn't. Cercei is not as evil but is smarter. Much smarter.

At least she looks good naked.


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